20 Planning Examples
If you are looking for ideas for odd situations, you'll likely see it in one of these examples!


1. Most Basic 4x4 or 6x6 Posts

click any image to enlarge
screened porch Screen room screened porch
Our favorite way to do this for both tracking and Velcro attachment is a path around the outside of the columns where curtain panels run past the exterior of the post, ending a panel and starting a new panel at CORNER posts. The swags look more natural and the railing will help to stabilize the base of the curtain without bottom marine snaps. We ALWAYS take the perspective that you are on your porch looking out so we can agree on RIGHT vs LEFT. We start with a helicopter (plan) view and then create a time line of panel shapes starting LEFT to RIGHT, making NECESSARY width adjustments for protective overlap and a relaxed fit.

2. Soft Vinyl Track Mounting Surface

Patio screen screen porch screened porch
Often vinyl ceilings are too soft to mount track. Normally the edges have structural wood beneath the vinyl that will hold a track mounting screw. The long run along the left does not have a continuous path to mount track since columns block the tracking path beneath header beam. Side mount a 1" x 1" wood strip such that the BOTTOM of the wood strip is flush with the BOTOM of the header beam. Now under-mount the track to the wood strip. He has a door opening for his stairs and a door opening on the far side where he has access to an open deck. We ALWAYS take the perspective that you are on your porch looking out so we can agree on RIGHT vs LEFT. The diagram is rotated 180° relative to the photos. We start with a helicopter (plan) view and then create a time line of panel shapes starting LEFT to RIGHT, making our necessary width adjustments for protective overlap and a relaxed fit. Panel 2 requires a notch. For non-rectangular panels, enter order heights as "irregular" and then describe the "irregularity" in the Comments box at checkout.

3. Brick Arches

porch screen Screen room screened porch
This project poses a number of problems. There is no good track mounting surface and the corner edges of the brick are like a knife. Wind can blow in any direction both pushing and pulling curtain. Let's look at an exterior mount. He is lucky. He can mount track to soffit and vertically stretch elastic cord 2" outside brick edges between a soffit eye-screw and a stake buried in the grass. The elastic bumpers will protect curtains from sharp edges. We ALWAYS take the perspective that you are on your porch looking out so we can agree on RIGHT vs LEFT. We start with a helicopter (plan) view and then create a time line of panel shapes starting LEFT to RIGHT, making our necessary width adjustments for protective overlap and a relaxed fit. This project has a 4" floor slope making these panels non-rectangular. For non-rectangular panels, enter order heights as "irregular" and then describe the "irregularity" in the Comments box at checkout. Alternatively, most folks will call these orders in. We really appreciate you being prepared with measurements when you call.

4. No Corner Columns

Patio screen Screened porch
Stretch elastic cord vertically between 2 D-Rings. A D-Ring (included) can be mounted into concrete header and tile floor using masonry drill bit. Also, to seal panel to column, we need to notch curtain around column cap. We ALWAYS take the perspective that you are on your porch looking out so we can agree on RIGHT vs LEFT. We start with a helicopter (plan) view and then create a time line of panel shapes starting LEFT to RIGHT, making our necessary width adjustments for protective overlap and a relaxed fit. This project has an odd-shaped notch where panels meet at the outer column, dipping below the column caps. Describing notches unambiguously in the "comments box" at checkout can be a challenge. Orders like these are typically phoned in, but being prepared really saves time.

5. Octagonal Gazebo (Tracking vs Velcro®)

Screen gazebo Gazebo netting Screened porch
Black netting is crystal clear to look through and an "outside" hang adds support by following a path outside support columns. Divide the project into 2 panels using Velcro attachment. While top doesn't slide, you can still draw the doorway open to a limited degree. To use tracking, you would side mount a 2" x 2" to the outer top fascia plate and then under-mount track to wood strip. A 4 panel configuration using the "right angle" (works for 45-degree angle) method would allow you to make 4 symmetrical swags where panels straddle central column. We are showing both Tracking and Velcro diagrams that are common for freestanding gazebos. Notice that Velcro is mounted on the outer face that is higher than where under-mounted track would attach.

6. Clear Vinyl Over Existing Screen Porch

rescreen porch Screening porch screen
Clear Vinyl to winterize an existing screen porch should ALWAYS be hung from the outside for best performance in the wind. Separate project into rectangular panels so that doors can open independently. Notice that because the frames are so thin, we had to notch the door panel around the door handle. Panels need to be wider than the exposure overlapping onto the frame so that there is something to marine snap the top, sides and bottom. Clear Vinyl to winterize an existing screen porch should ALWAYS be hung from the outside for best performance in the wind. Separate project into rectangular panels so that doors can open independently. Panels need to be wider than the exposure overlapping onto the frame so that there is something to marine snap the top, sides and bottom. The purpose of the width adjustments is to ensure that there is sufficient protective overlap. This client "got the concept". When he phoned, he said he had 3" overlap in his measurements all the way around each panel. He was a clever cookie, when he observed that there should be a tighter 2" overlap for the swinging doors so that the panels wouldn't be too large and interfere with the operation of the doors .

7. Protruding Column Caps

porch screen insect netting porch screen
This project has a number of issues. Due to protruding column caps, the logical track mounting location should be the bead board ceiling just inside the crown molding. The next photo will detail how to deal with that trim wood obstruction in the path of the track. While we prefer the "right angle" method for corners, in this case, the curved corner track "cuts" the corner by 5" and HELPS avoid the protruding column caps. He will need to place a narrow trim piece beneath the track on either side of the obstruction to create a continuous flat track mounting surface. Curtains can drape slightly over column cap, the height of the header beam is generous so that drape angle is minimal. He can also position his track "in" a bit so that curtain panel doesn't drape at all. We ALWAYS take the perspective that you are on your porch looking out so we can agree on RIGHT vs LEFT. We start with a helicopter (plan) view and then create a time line of panel shapes starting LEFT to RIGHT, making our necessary width adjustments for protective overlap and a relaxed fit.

8. Log Cabin

screen a log cabin log cabin screening cabin screening
This Log cabin has a number of issues addressed in the next image. Notice the criss cross logs where curtain seals to house. There is a shed roof, and on the far right a floor step. This illustrates extreme funkiness. The truncated triangle is secured using a combination of marine snaps and Velcro®. Despite the round columns, they are still straight up and down for a good seal. The "crux" of the crisscross logs is actually a perfect seal. Because of the rustic view they must enjoy, we have the primary view panels meet behind the central log cabin. This is not difficult, but requires accurate communication so that we can duplicate the geometry. We ALWAYS take the perspective that you are on your porch looking out so we can agree on RIGHT vs LEFT. The diagram is rotated 180° relative to the photos. We start with a helicopter (plan) view and then create a time line of panel shapes starting LEFT to RIGHT, making our necessary width adjustments for protective overlap and a relaxed fit. Panel 1 requires a notch. For non-rectangular panels, enter order heights as "irregular" and then describe the "irregularity" in the Comments box at checkout.

9. Thin Stacked Stone Bases

Patio screening Outdoor patio curtains porch curtains
The "right angle" method works not just for 90° angles, but FOR ANY ANGLE. Because this method involves a gap in the track, curtains need to gather at these gapped angles. Generally these are natural swag points anyways. Notice upstairs that the curtains are split in the center for easy access to the balcony. If this was a major line of view, the doorway doesn't have to be in the center and can be skewed to one side for both access and a seamless view. Thin stacked stone bases can generally be treated like any other "Irregular-shaped column. You can't get a panel-to-column seal, but you can get a good panel-to-panel magnetic seal. Add tether cords around the base of the column for windy conditions. It isn't worth risking an "overdone look by notching these thin bases. These porches are 9ft tall and the drape angle over the caps will be slight. We ALWAYS take the perspective that you are on your porch looking out so we can agree on RIGHT vs LEFT. The diagram is rotated 180° relative to the photos. We start with a helicopter (plan) view and then create a time line of panel shapes starting LEFT to RIGHT, making our necessary width adjustments for protective overlap and a relaxed fit. There are a number of suitable configurations for this. The key is that we have 135-degree track and he DOES NOT have 135-degree angles so he will need to use only straight tracks with what we call our "right angle" method. Curtains that use a hard angle also have a gap at the hard angle. Curtain panels can end at a hard angle, or even straddle a hard angle. You can draw to the gap in the hard angle, but you CANNOT draw curtains past the gap of a hard angle.

10. Gabled Roof

insect Gable screening awning screening
For a Velcro attachment, an "outside hang" is most stable in the wind. Since the gabled area is the main view, we wanted the most seamless look. We could put the Sunbrella skirt on top or bottom. A top Sunbrella strip would block the sky, a bottom Sunbrella apron seemed to fit their view preferences. Ultimately, he wanted tracking and placed a horizontal header beam across the gable. The beam isn't really structural and the only criteria is that it not sag under its own weight, over time. He tracked beneath the header bead and we attached the gabled triangle with Velcro and marine snaps. We ALWAYS take the perspective that you are on your porch looking out so we can agree on RIGHT vs LEFT. The diagram is rotated 180° relative to the photos. We start with a helicopter (plan) view and then create a time line of panel shapes starting LEFT to RIGHT, making our necessary width adjustments for protective overlap and a relaxed fit. There are a number of suitable configurations for this. Everything here is straight forward. The gabled triangle is a fixed attachment above the header beam that he plans to install. The beam is not structural. It merely provides for a level track mounting surface.

11. Canvas Awning

screen an awning awning screening awning curtains

12. Decks With No Roof

In this example, the client did not want a doorway seam in the main line of view and instead placed the doors on the sides. Panels attach to canvas awning frames using top grommets and zip ties. The curtain follows along the OUTSIDE of the frame and AROUND the outside of the support columns for maximum stability. The top of the curtain is actually higher up than in this diagram and behind the frame bar. Tracking is impossible for these types of awnings without major modifications to the frame. This project Could have been configured any number of ways. In fact, the most common configuration is 2 symmetrical panels that meet in the center. The only reason to break the curtain into multiple panels is for obstructions and doorways. In this case, there are no obstructions. Many people get seduced into the tracking system with elegant swags, but keep in mind that black curtains are crystal clear to look through. You'll barely know they are there. These pipe frames are not good flat surfaces to mount track, anyways. This grommet method is the best possible option. It is also least expensive.
deck screen deck screening deck curtains
We had a number of clients with a roofless deck. We suggested this painted pipe frame idea (instructions on website). Pipe attaches to house using pipe flanges. Home improvement stores will cut and re-thread pipe to any length for FREE. Roof Panel Velcro's to pipe frame and wall panels Velcro to roof panel for counter balance. Elastic cord prevents roof panel from sagging. A few custom cuts to get this to seal around hand rail. We want to help plan these. Email us a digital photo of your space and we'll guide you through the process. We had a number of clients come to us with a deck or patio and no overhead roof structure. We came up with this idea to create a painted pipe frame out of materials readily available at the local hardware store. It is relatively inexpensive and very nice looking. We describe the "painted pipe frame" application in detail in Special Situations under the heading, Learn & Plan.

13. Knee-walls & Half-Walls

pool house curtains screen porch screen round porch
Given this particular layout, save some money and Velcro a single panel around 3 sides. Black netting is crystal clear and outside hangs look better from the inside where the eye can see the columns unobstructed. They can track the open side that will receive the traffic and still have symmetrical swags. Going floor to ceiling with the heavy traffic panel seemed to make sense since the knee-wall on the far right is so narrow. The L-shaped panel on the right would probably look better making it a half panel to the top of the knee-wall... READ CAREFULLY. Our track is NOT bendable. An outside track vendor offers this flexible track. While it seems to be exactly what you are looking for, read on. Drapery pins in the top of the curtain will hook to the little carrier rings, however the tops of the curtains hang a bit cock-eyed. We can place top grommets to get them to hang straighter, but then you need to secure the grommets to the carriers using plastic cable "ZIP" ties. The fact that there is a tall rounded header really helps as the curtain is hung to the ceiling well above the header masking any gaps or imperfections from the outside. Alternatively, a Velcro and/or marine snap attachment along the outside can easily form around the arc. If street appeal is not a main driver, consider the Velcro option. Many with a porch this nice might cringe at the word "Velcro", but it is easy and looks much better than it sounds.

14. Round Porches

screen round porch screening round porch insect netting
READ CAREFULLY. Our track is NOT bendable. An outside track vendor offers this flexible track. While it seems to be exactly what you are looking for, read on. Drapery pins in the top of the curtain will hook to the little carrier rings, however the tops of the curtains hang a bit cock-eyed. We can place top grommets to get them to hang straighter, but then you need to secure the grommets to the carriers using plastic cable "ZIP" ties. The fact that there is a tall rounded header really helps as the curtain is hung to the ceiling well above the header masking any gaps or imperfections from the outside. Alternatively, a Velcro and/or marine snap attachment along the outside can easily form around the arc. If street appeal is not a main driver, consider the Velcro option. Many with a porch this nice might cringe at the word "Velcro", but it is easy and looks much better than it sounds. Velcro attachment is very flexible for conforming around most any shape.

15. Mind Numbing Obstructions

screening alternative screen hot tub garage-screens
First, this is NOT the way to do this project. While this is intuitively the only way to do this, there is a MUCH BETTER way. Thinking outside the box a little, he can side mount a 2" x 2" wood strip Flush with the bottom of that left hand fascia board. Now we avoid all of those crazy cuts around obstructions. Its hard to see with all the colored markings, but he has a continuous clear path for his tracking. The elastic cord provides structure as the curtain turns the corner. Create a polygon that approximates the shape of the arc. Take the height at 5 evenly spaced intervals. Tracking is NOT possible on this shape. You must use "fixed" Velcro attachment. To use tracking, side mount a 2" x 2" wood strip and then mount rectangular panel beneath wood strip.

16. Garages

garage door screen Garage screen garage-screens
See Diagram to learn how to measure for top cutouts. Create a polygon that approximates the shape of the arc. Take the height at 5 evenly spaced intervals. Tracking is NOT possible on this shape. You must use "fixed" Velcro attachment. To use tracking, side mount a 2" x 2" wood strip and then mount rectangular panel beneath wood strip.

17. Deciding Panel Splits for Swags

screening alternative screen hot tub
When deciding on where to make the panel breaks, remember you need breaks to create doorways and also to create some symmetry when the curtains are drawn open. These angles weren't 135-degrees and couldn't use our curves for octagon angles. Our "Right Angle" method using only straight tracks will work for any angle. The panel represented in pinkis a double ply panel using our no-see-um mesh to add privacy from the neighbor.

18. Difficult Corner

screening odd shaped columns
This column cap protrudes inward a good bit. 90-degree track won't clear the column. There are 2 choices. While tracked curtains using an "outside hang" can be a little awkward, perhaps it is still a better solution to the inside hang method...

19. Large Stacked Stone Column Bases

outdoor curtains Patio screens
The stacked stone base at the base of each column is so broad that curtain panels will not flow around them. The next image will show our best solution for this type of architecture. We can notch the panels, but sometimes this look may appear overdone. Whether traditional screening or Mosquito Netting curtains, this will require either notching or building out the wood columns to match the stone (terrible option).

20. Scalloped Aluminum Awning

Patio curtains Awning curtains
This project has an aluminum scalloped awning that is sharp and will cut into netting. Tracking is rarely possible on these since they often lack a suitable track mounting surface. The best method is an outside hang with a broad 4" webbing to cover the sharp scallops. SEE NEXT IMAGE. The adhesive backed Velcro goes just above the top wave of the scallop. It still needs to be reinforced with marine snaps (at 2 top corners of a given panel and where a panel turns a corner. Because the aluminum is thin, it is best to place a small block of wood behind the scallop to hold the screw and prevent it from ripping out. The 4" webbing is heavy and durable enough not to get cut by the scalloped edge.